Davinder Singh case: NIA arrests LoC trade body chief

Deeptiman Tiwary
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Davinder Singh.

THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested the president of Cross-LoC Trade Association in connection with its probe against suspended J&K police officer Davinder Singh. The agency arrested Tanvir Ahmed Wani in Delhi on Wednesday and has now taken him to Jammu where it is probing the Davinder case.

Sources said as LoC trade association chief, Wani had allegedly provided funds to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen operative Naveed Mushtaq alias Babu. Mushtaq had been arrested along with Davinder, a Deputy Superintendent, by J&K Police in Kulgam while he was travelling in Davinder’s car to Jammu.

Wani is suspected to have played the role of a middleman between entities in Pakistan and operatives of the Hizb and Lashkar-e-Taiba for transfer of funds.

This is the sixth arrest NIA has made in the case.

Sources in the NIA said Davinder was on the payrolls of the Hizb and used to regularly take money from Naveed. He had not only taken money for transporting and sheltering Naveed but had been regularly receiving money from the militant for extending assistance throughout the year, sources said.

Investigations by the NIA have also revealed that Davinder was supposed to keep Naveed and his associate in a rented accommodation for the winter and then facilitate his entry into Pakistan.

“When he was caught, he was actually transporting Naveed to Jammu where he was supposed to stay for the winter. After that they were supposed to leave for Pakistan. We are probing what route they were to take to reach Pakistan. Davinder was negotiating between Rs 20-30 lakh for this job. He hadn’t been paid the full amount yet though,” a security establishment officer told The Indian Express.

In fact, Davinder had similarly transported Naveed to Jammu in 2019 and provided him shelter in Jammu during the winters. “He has been in touch with Naveed for years and has been on his payroll. He has been regularly receiving money from Hizb-ul-Mujahideen,” the officer said.

Davinder was arrested on January 11 in Kulgam while he was ferrying Naveed, who is known to be a close aide of Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo, his accomplice Asif and lawyer Irfan Mir to Jammu in his car. A team led by DIG Atul Goel had flagged the i10 car on Srinagar-Jammu highway based on intelligence inputs that Naveed was travelling in the car. Later, NIA arrested Naveed’s brother Irfan Mushtaq who is pursuing a PhD course in Punjab.

Sources said it was through Irfan’s phone that agencies learnt about Naveed’s movement. “Irfan’s phone had been put on surveillance. The chatter revealed Naveed’s plan to leave for Jammu in an i10 car on January 11. Davinder was a chance arrest, albeit not shocking,” the officer said.